A guest post by Sophie Lewis
My third pregnancy was planned but still a shock to the system as there was a six year age gap between our youngest and the imminent new baby.
In these six years as we tried to conceive we’d given away all baby items as friends and family believed the superstition that holding on to them would hinder our ability to become pregnant. Myself, I saw it as sod’s law, as maybe it was the superstition working but as soon as we waved goodbye to the last baby blanket and stroller, we witnessed that lovely blue line that told us we’d need them again.
So we needed to start from scratch and at the time I was a struggling author and my husband was in between jobs. In just six years the price of items seemed to have skyrocketed and although I wanted the best my budget wouldn’t allow.
Breastfeeding for the Budget Conscious
I made a decision to try and breastfeed even though I’d had little success with my middle daughter. As the rules had changed in regards to formula milk, not being able to make them in advance, I though it may save some hungry cries and please our finances too. I worked out that this decision alone saved me over a hundred pounds on sterilisers, bottles, teats and milk I just had to make sure I stuck with it this time.
EBay to the Rescue
For sleeping I scoured EBay and car boot sales as many have nearly new items for sale. Babies grow so quick which is great if you’re sourcing second hand goods as almost every mother has some to sell. It’s not so great if you’re buying everything new as no sooner have you added the sheet to the Moses basket do they need upgrading to a cot, a cot bed, a toddler bed then a cabin!
I found a mahogany type swinging crib on EBay for just 99p. I made sure I bought a new mattress and sent hubby off to collect it. At a car boot I found a toddler bed for just £5 and although it may have been premature at the time as baby was still in my belly, this week she’s moved into it!
Instead of buying new wallpaper and accessories for the nursery I took advantage of my time off and copied some scenes from comics, we decided she’s have a sheep theme (as her dad is Welsh) so drew murals of Shaun the sheep and others all over the walls. We finished this with grass and flowers that were made with the handprints of our older two children. It cost less than ten pounds as we used a left over tin of white emulsion along with some tester pots we’d picked up in B and Q.
Friends and Family
We then put a call out to our extensive family members asking if they had any baby items stored in the loft. They were absolutely delighted as many had wanted to offer them but didn’t want to offend us by asking. Instead of giving them money we made gifts or bought presents for their children. We also knew that our parents and brothers and sisters would like to buy baby some presents, so we were a little cheeky and actually wrote a wish list. We still needed bedding and nappies and requested these instead of funky outfits she’d only wear once.
The only items we did buy brand new were the mattresses, the bedding, dummies, the baby monitor, the pram and bag and even these were discounted as we saw no need to be fashion conscious instead taking advantage of the discounts on last year’s trends.
Now she’s eighteen months old and we have a loft full of clothes from 6 years plus from her older sister along with baby Annabel’s, prams and other toys she’s grown out of. Many items may have been in the sale or be pre loved, however she wants for absolutely nothing.